The world’s premier conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques is returning to Vancouver for the third time in seven years.
Last week, ACM SIGGRAPH announced its plans to bring its largest conference back to the Vancouver Convention Centre from August 12 to 16 in 2018.
This comes after last summer’s highly successful return to the city, attracting 14,045 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 50 U.S. states and 75 countries. There were also 175 participating companies for the three-day commercial exhibition component of the conference, an increase from the 2013 conference in Anaheim, with 25 per cent of the exhibitors being first-timers – the highest percentage in four years.
“SIGGRAPH 2014 offered an incredible exhibition experience, innovative and inspiring content, and celebrated the impact that graphics and technology can have in every day life,” said Dave Shreiner, SIGGRAPH 2014 Conference Chair. “Finally, the city of Vancouver was amazing – from the mayor’s office to the convention centre to the economic commission to the tourism bureau.”
According to Tourism Vancouver officials, SIGGRAPH 2014 brought $39-million in direct spending to the local economy. When Vancouver held SIGGRAPH for the first time in 2011, the event attracted 15,872 delegates setting a new city record for conference attendance and created similar economic spinoffs.
Vancouver is becoming a regular home for the annual North American conference; since 2010, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Vancouver have become the host cities for the event on a rotational basis and this will continue until at least 2018 with last week’s announcement.
At the same time, Vancouver’s status as a global hub for the digital and visual arts has grown significantly. Major industry players have recently decided to open a major presence in the city, including Industrial Light and Magic in Gastown, and Sony Pictures Imageworks’ new global heaadquarters and Microsoft Canada at Pacific Centre’s new office space.
SIGGRRAPH’s (Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques) conference format runs over five-day period. It showcases the latest advances in computer graphics and interactive techniques, including animation, art, research, software, visualization, and education.
Meanwhile, local tourism officials expect 2015 will be another banner year for conventions as Vancouver is slated to host two of the largest international medical conventions in the city’s history: the World Congress of Dermatology with 15,000 attendees and the International AIDS Society conference with 7,000 attendees.
Further down the road in 2025, Vancouver will host its largest convention ever when 48,000 people descend on the Vancouver Convention Centre and BC Place Stadium for the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. The massive event is expected to generate $71-million in direct spending for the local economy.
Feature Image: Siggraph Conferences